Gus A. Stavros
Gus A. Stavros a 1948 graduate of Columbia University, New York City. Matriculated for MBA at N.Y.U. Graduate School of Business Administration 1950-51. Received Certificate for Basic Engineering in the Army Specialized Training Program at University of Florida 1943-44. Served in the infantry, Patton's Third Army in World War II and has three campaign ribbons-Northern France, Ardennes & Rhineland-Purple Heart & Bronze Star.
Gus arrived in Florida in 1958 to start a business forms manufacturing company in Pinellas County, FL. After 30 years as owner & CEO and building the company into the largest forms manufacturer in the southeast from 3 to 550 employees, Better Business Forms was sold in 1984 and Gus signed a five-year employment contract with Florida Progress and served as a Group Vice President until retirement in 1989.
Governor Stavros was recently featured in FLORIDA TREND for his work in education.
He has served as chairman of Eckerd College, chairman of Florida State University Foundation Board of Trustees, president of the University of South Florida Foundation Board of Trustees, co-chairman of the University of South Florida Capital Campaign, chairman of the Florida Council on Economic Education, chairman of the Florida Foundation for Excellence in Education, founding chairman and chairman emeritus of the Pinellas Education Foundation, a founder, chairman and president of the Clearwater Performing Arts Center and Theater (Ruth Eckerd Hall), chairman of the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Board, president of the congregation of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Clearwater. He also served on the board of the Florida Council of 100 and GTE of Florida and various bank boards. In July, 2001, he received Governor Jeb Bush's appointment to the new Operating Board of Trustees at the University of South Florida. In 2003 he also was named to the National Board of Junior Achievement and the Salvador Dali Museum of St. Petersburg, FL.
Gus has received many honors and awards, including: Florida Free Enterpriser of the Year 1982, Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame 1991, United Way Humanitarian Award, NCCJ Brotherhood Award, National Private Enterprise Education Award, Mr. Clearwater 1987 and Mr. Sun (St. Petersburg) 1994, Liberty Bell Award in 1987 from the Clearwater Bar and the Liberty Bell Award in 1998 from the St. Petersburg Bar. He received honorary doctorates in Humane Letters from Florida State University in 1991 and the University of South Florida in 1996 and an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Webber International University in 2002. He received the University of South Florida Distinguished Citizen Award at the 2001 May Commencement, the Torch Award given by the Florida State University Faculty Senate in 1998, the FSU Circle of Gold Award in 1997, the University of South Florida Class of '56 Award in 1994, the Champion of Higher Independent Education in Florida Award presented by the Presidents of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida in 1992 and the University of Tampa Ethics Award in October 2001. In May, 2002, he was named honoree by Junior Achievement of Central District of Florida. Also in May, 2002, the Stavros Family was named Family of the Year by Family Service Centers, Inc. of Tampa Bay. In 2003 he received the Service to Mankind Award (Sertoma), and he and Frances received the Ruth Eckerd Hall Marcia P. Hoffman Arts Education Award. In 2005 he received the prestigious Gold Leadership Award from JA Worldwide. The Free Enterprise and Economic Education Centers at Florida State University and the University of South Florida are named in his honor. The Gus A. Stavros Institute of Pinellas County, Florida administers Enterprise Village and Finance Park - nationally prominent programs teaching free enterprise and our economic system to 17,000 fifth graders annually and fiscal responsibility to14,000 eighth graders annually and ethics and career planning to high school students. A recent contractual agreement between JA Worldwide and the Pinellas County School Board and the Pinellas Education Foundation establishes the JA construction of Enterprise Villages and Finance Parks throughout the US and the world.